Northern Ireland Gay Movie showing; A couple of months ago I approached the Queen’s Film Theatre for a listing of movies they had shown during the past year (Aug 20-Aug 21). What I was trying to find out was how many ‘gay’ movies had been shown in the QFT during this period, and bearing in mind that it was the pandemic, the community managed to have 5 movies out of a total of 100 (a 5% showing).
In the scheme of things, we cannot really complain, especially as from observation, not all the showings had sufficient seats occupied to break even! But when you then look at other cinemas in Northern Ireland, there would seem to have even fewer gay movies shown for the LGBTQ+ community, so the number showing drops dramatically.
So is there a sparsity of gay movies for the LGBTQ+ community being produced? Not from what I can see, in 2020 my brief research has indicated that there were 80 LGBTQ+ movies released that year. The BFI Flare 2021 Festival has 38 short LGBTQ+ movies showing, and considerably more full movies.
So, OK you might say that the movie industry has obviously improved and that it was different in the past. In 1991 the Fifth London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival had a combination of 39 items on show, and I can assure you that very few of them reached Northern Ireland cinema halls. (Details of this can be found in Capital Gay dated February 22nd, 1991)
There used to be a travelling BFI show of Lesbian and Gay movies, indeed the Northern Ireland Gay Rights Association actively worked with many individuals in the community to get it shown at the QFT. When I approached the BFI about any information on the festival and when it stopped coming to Northern Ireland, they were unable to furnish me with this information, they couldn’t trace anything in their records!
I am not saying we need special treatment, however, if a festival is already in hand in London, and in the past has been in Northern Ireland at the QFT, has also travelled to Manchester Pride and to Edinburgh to name a few other locations, then I do ask why have we gone backwards?
- BFI marks 50th anniversary of landmark in LGBT rights with major film and TV programme (May 2017)
- London LGBTQ+ Film Festival (March 2021)
- London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival On Tour 2010
- The Truth About Alex
- List of LGBT-related films by year – 1895-2021